Workbench WiFi

Preview: Low-cost managed system

For part of a class I am teaching, I am walking the students through building two managed Wi-Fi systems: one based on a Cisco WLC and one based on MikroTik CAPsMAN. Both have their pros and cons, but the really exciting part about the MikroTik system is the low barrier to entry in terms of cost and time. I hope to document some of the project on this blog to share some pointers and configuration examples.

This test bench example setup consists of a MikroTik RouterBoard hEX PoE (a router with 4 PoE outputs), two MikroTik wAP ac (2 dBi omnidirectional dual band 3×3:3 802.11a/b/g/n/ac) and a MikroTik SXT SA 5ac (14 dBi 90-degree sector single band 2×2:2 802.11a/n/ac). All pieces, including the router, can operate on 12 – 57 volt passive PoE. In fact, the entire 4 piece ensemble was consuming just 14.7 watts @ 49 volts at the time these photos were taken (PoE provided via port 1 on the router, generic 48v injector is outside of the frame between the router and the upstream Internet source).

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